With Barcelona still looking to build a formidable squad in order to bring the European glory days back to the Camp Nou, it is about time that they consider offloading some of their first-team stars to make way for fresh faces. Despite splashing out millions in the last few transfer windows, the Catalan giants are still miles apart from being the best team in Europe.
Barcelona’s success has always been dependent on their homegrown world-beaters, but the recent failures to produce such talents have cost them dearly. The Catalan giants have only managed to lift the Champions League crown once in the last five years, which signifies their lack of dominance on the European stage, despite having arguably the best player of this generation, Lionel Messi, in their ranks.
Moreover, the way Barcelona were eliminated in the last two editions of the UEFA Champions League has raised multiple questions about the mentality of several key players. Besides, Barca’s recent recruitment policy has been a subject of continuous scrutiny due to their lack of planning and suspicious activities.
With Barcelona’s success in Europe dwindling, an injection of fresh blood is the need of the hour to renew their thirst of dominating the continent again. And to do so, the Catalan giants have to shift some of their old workhorses first. So, without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at three players who could be sold by Barcelona to make space for new ones.
#3 Ivan Rakitić
After guiding Sevilla to their third UEFA Europa League crown in the summer of 2014, Ivan Rakitić joined Barcelona in a transfer fee worth around €20 million. Brought in to replace Barcelona legend, Xavi Hernández, Rakitić took no time to settle in the famous Blaugrana shirt. Soon the Croatian became an integral part of the Barcelona set-up and grew into the role of a right-sided midfielder.
With Andres Iniesta doing wonders in the middle of the park and Sergio Busquets breaking up play for fun, Ivan Rakitić was tasked with moving the ball forward at the correct time to bring in Lionel Messi and company into play. Besides, Rakitić’s ability to score long-rangers helped Barcelona time and again to get out of jail.
However, despite being a starter for almost three years, Rakitić was iced out by former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde after the arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax last summer. Moreover, several reports have suggested that Barcelona did try to shift out Rakitić in the summer transfer window as a makeweight to bring Neymar back.
Rakitić again seems to be on the verge of leaving Barcelona as several sides, including the likes of Inter Milan, Sevilla, and Tottenham Hotspur seem interested in getting the service of the midfielder. However, recent reports have also claimed that the Catalan giants are once again trying to use him as a bargaining chip to lure Lautaro Martínez to the Camp Nou from Inter Milan.
#2 Martin Braithwaite
Martin Braithwaite is another player who appears to be on the brink of getting the axe after joining Barcelona from Leganes in an unusual manner in the month of February. Barcelona triggered Braithwaite’s release clause of €18 million after the Spanish federation granted the Catalan giants to make an emergency signing as Ousmane Dembélé suffered yet another injury setback in the same month.
The former Leganes forward has only appeared three times for Barcelona, coming off twice from the bench and starting only once in the La Liga champions’ win over Real Sociedad back in March. Although Braithwaite is yet to score for his new recruiters, the 28-year-old scored six times for Leganes this season.
As per several reports, Martin Braithwaite’s name is included in the long list of players whom Barcelona are obliged to offload in the upcoming summer transfer window, not only to balance their financial books but also to accumulate funds to bring in new faces. With Luis Suarez slowly regaining full fitness and several attacking-minded players being linked with the Spanish giants, it seems only a matter of time before Braithwaite leaves the Camp Nou.
#1 Philippe Coutinho
Phillipe Coutinho, Barcelona’s forgotten man, tops our list of players who could leave the Catalan giants in the upcoming summer transfer window.
Coutinho joined the La Liga giants from Liverpool during the winter transfer window of 2018 in a transfer deal worth up to €160 million, becoming the world’s second-most expensive player after Neymar Jr.
Coutinho’s time at Barcelona started in the worst possible manner as the Brazilian attacker was diagnosed with a thigh injury during his first medical with the club.
In 76 appearances for Barcelona, the 27-year-old has managed to find the back of the net on 21 occasions, alongside providing 11 assists. After struggling for a year-and-a-half, Coutinho agreed to join Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich on a season-long loan deal last summer.
According to recent reports, Barcelona are pushing hard to shift Coutinho out, so that they can avoid paying Liverpool an extra £17 million.
In addition, the Catalan giants are still looking out for ways to cut some of their wage bills in order to balance their books. Besides, Barcelona shouldn’t waste the opportunity of cashing in on a so-called flop signing, given several Premier League clubs are still trying to get Philippe Coutinho on board.